An FBI visit to Baltimore school headquarters this week was part of an investigation into Dunbar High School head football coach Lawrence Smith, who is also a school police detective, sources confirmed.

The investigation into Smith, who has guided the Poets to seven championships, relates to possible timecard irregularities and overtime fraud, the sources said. A school system source confirmed that the FBI was in the payroll office of school headquarters.

Reached by text message, Smith, who has not been charged with a crime, said, “I can’t comment per my lawyer.” .

The FBI, Dunbar Principal Yetunde Reeves and Dunbar athletic director Dana Johnson all declined comment. The U.S. Attorney’s office formally declined comment, saying they do not confirm or deny investigations.

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UPDATE: ‘A father figure for these boys’: Dunbar parents support football coach, school cop under federal investigation

FOX Baltimore first reported on the FBI visit on Wednesday; The Sun reported Friday evening that the investigation was focused on Smith and questions of overtime pay.

Smith — the only two-time recipient of Baltimore Ravens’ High School Coach of the Year award — steered the high school team last season to a Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 2A-1A title, the seventh Poets championship under his leadership.

The Poets’ season kicks off Sept. 9, a home matchup against Patterson.

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Smith earned about $94,000 in overtime pay on top of a salary of about $62,500 between October 2020 and October 2021, according to school district data. He’s listed as the highest-paid school police officer during those 12 months, and he made nearly $30,000 more in overtime pay than any other officer. City schools officials declined to comment.

Smith was suspended by city schools officials for one year before a Baltimore judge reinstated him in 2014, according to news reports from WBAL TV. School district officials said he had been suspended for not properly supervising the team locker room during football season when a hazing incident occurred. Some players and parents rallied around the coach and called for him to be reinstated.

Reporters Liz Bowie, Tim Prudente and Varsity Sports Network’s Derek Toney contributed to this article.

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This story has been updated.

justin.fenton@thebaltimorebanner.com

Justin Fenton is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Banner. He previously spent 17 years at the Baltimore Sun, covering the criminal justice system. His book, "We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption," was released by Random House in 2021 and became an HBO miniseries.

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